Portable toilets are often referred to as “camping toilets,” but they’re not just limited to camping trips. Portable toilets are used any place where traditional facilities are inconvenient or absent entirely—from boats to campsites to cabins to workshops.
With a wide variety of design and size, not all of them will be right for your needs. Moreover, it’s important to choose a high-quality portable product, so you don’t end up with a biological hazard on your hands.
Most portable models vary in their actual portability. Ideally, they should be small in size (or collapsible) and easy to carry. They should be light but also durable. Though comfort might not be a guarantee when you’re “roughing it,” a good camping toilet will at least not be painfully uncomfortable to use.
There are many different types. Some are little more than a seat over a bucket, while others are sophisticated self-contained devices that are designed for regular use.
So how do you pick the right one? Though the needs of each individual adventurer will vary significantly, there are some models that stand out above the rest.
These are our 3 favorite portable and camping toilets:
Best Portable and Camping Toilet Reviews
Top Pick: The Travel Toilet
The best ideas are often the simplest. That belief is at the core of our top pick, the uncomplicated but extremely popular Travel Toilet.
Exceptionally light yet durable, The Travel Toilet suffers for none of the problems commonly found in its collapsable competition. Typically, this style is unstable, breaks easily and isn’t suited for larger bodies or long-term use.
Not so with The Travel Toilet. The reinforced steel is built to support any body type for years to come, despite the unit weighing only about 3 pounds. The stand is designed for stability, preventing any disastrous situations caused by tipping over.
The seat itself is also the size and shape of a standard toilet seat, and even comes with a bathroom tissue roll holder. Waste is collected in disposable plastic bags that are securely held in place by the double layered seat.
The portable frame can be used with traditional plastic bags, or with special “bio-bags.” The Travel Toilet comes with 8 of these bags designed to dispose of human waste in a sanitary and eco-friendly way. Bio-bags are also available for purchase separately on Amazon.
High ratings and gushing reviews for this one are found on Amazon and camping blogs alike. Users praise the sturdy and stable construction of The Travel Toilet, as well as its lightweight and compact design. They said that due to the overall stability and construction quality of the Travel Toilet, they were confident with having even heavier or taller users use it safely.
The height of the unit and the standard-sized seat were also popular features. At 16.4” high—about the height of a normal toilet—the Travel Toilet is a good choice for individuals who are looking for a bit more comfort in the great outdoors. It has a wide seat that’s much more comfortable and accommodating than the cramped, small seats on most traditional camping models. Even smaller persons said they noticed a big difference in comfort with this unit.
Many reviewers were also quite pleased to find a travel option that could sustain the weight of larger-sized campers without issue. They said that even users over 400+ pounds used the unit with no issues whatsoever.
Though the vast majority of reviews are positive, there were a few negative elements that even the 4 and 5 star reviewers noted.
The biggest complaint was that it lacks a lid. If you don’t want to throw away the bag after every use, it will quickly become unpleasant for obvious reasons. Some owners improvised their own lid to address this problem, using trash bags, plywood, or opaque plastic coverings. Buyers said the lack of an included lid was pretty disappointing because of the high pricetag.
The reviewer above brings up another issue many campers had with The Travel Toilet. Compared to similar models, The Travel Toilet is significantly more expensive. By no means is it a major investment, but this may not be the best model if you’re on a shoestring budget.
Despite its relatively minor issues, The Travel Toilet seems almost universally loved by owners. Simple and light, yet sturdy and comfortable, this is a great option for extended excursions and short camping trips alike. Just be prepared to find your own lid for it.
The Travel Toilet is also the best option on this list if you’re a traveler with limited space in your vehicle or tent—or if you have to carry all your things on your back.
Second Pick: Reliance Luggable Loo
Our second pick is also very simple in design. But simplicity hasn’t kept the Reliance Luggable Loo from the best-selling spot among camping toilets on Amazon.
The Luggable Loo is a 5-gallon portable bucket-style toilet, with a hinged molded seat and snap-on cover. It’s popular among camping, fishing, and hunting enthusiasts, and it’s also a key component in many disaster-preparedness kits.
Users can line the inside of it with disposable plastic bags, and a compatible set of “Double Doodie” bag linings can be purchased from Reliance. Many owners prefer to use trash bags, and a fair amount also suggest using a odor-neutralizing absorbent (like kitty litter or peat moss).
The Luggable Loo is probably the most economical option available on Amazon. At roughly a third of the cost of The Travel Toilet, it’s a great option for people looking for a simple but reliable portable toilet that doesn’t break the bank.
Reviews were largely positive for this portable toilet, with many owners complimenting its surprising sturdiness. Most reviewers considered The Luggable Loo an ingeniously simple solution to their sanitary needs. They said it was a very convenient option for late night bathroom visits, when full bathrooms are far away and it’s dark out.
Positive commenters also noted that the lid did an excellent job at sealing off any potential offensive odors. They said that the lid fits very snugly over the seat, which helps to keep any smells from escaping the compartment. They said the lid and liners worked very well in combination, and were an excellent camping companion.
The primary issue most users took with The Luggable Loo was the height of the seat. Many people found it to be uncomfortably low. It should be mentioned, however, that some shorter people found it just right. Taller users said the design would be more comfortable with a taller waste compartment and seat, but that since they were only using it for occasional camping or emergencies, the height wasn’t a deal-breaker.
Another common complaint was the plastic lid. Though the bucket is made of sturdy material, the lid—according to some customers—was flimsy and broke easily. In addition, some of these reviews assert that the latch holding the toilet lid in place was also weak by design. They said that it easily wore out, and that the clip part of the latch had a very loose fit which came undone easily.
Finally, the Luggable Loo lists the weight capacity on the product itself—but not on the Amazon product page. That weight capacity is 200 lbs, though many users well over 200 pounds claimed it held their weight without issue.
Still, many shoppers might not feel comfortable taking such a risk. The Luggable Loo broke for at least one user over the weight limit. This one’s definitely not as heavy-duty as The Travel Toilet.
The Luggable Loo is a good option for many campers, especially those on a budget. Though there were a number who took issue with design elements of this portable toilet, the majority of reviews were very positive.
Reliance’s portable toilet seems like a better option if you will need to take it on short trips, as frequent and long-term use would likely become uncomfortable. Furthermore, some the flimsier parts of the toilet may break under frequent strain.
It is also the best option for people looking for a temporary solution to plumbing issues. If you’re remodeling your bathroom, or searching for a portable toilet for a home emergency preparedness kit, the Luggable Loo seems like an sturdy and inexpensive option.
Third Pick: Camco 4154 Portable Toilet
The other two portable toilets are generally designed for infrequent use, since tent campers and hikers are usually more concerned about the “portability” aspect of portable toilets.
But if you need the toilet for more long-term and regular use—if you’re an RV owner, trucker, or cabin owner—you might prefer the Camco 4154 Portable Toilet.
This Camco Model is a self-contained unit, with a lightweight construction and 5.3 gallon holding tank. The flushing mechanism takes a small amount of fresh water, using a bellows-type pump to flush water into the tank for waste removal.
The seat itself is about 16.5” inches high, and the unit weighs 11.5 pounds when empty. The top and sides have handles for easier transport, and the waste tank is secured to the top of the toilet with latches on the side.
The waste tank has a sliding gate valve to prevent odors and water leakage. Deodorizing packets can be purchased for additional stink-fighting power. Disposal is relatively simple—the lower tank is detachable and features a pull tab for emptying.
Compared to the other two portable options on this list, the Camco 4154 will likely be the most similar to a household toilet. Its use isn’t limited to outdoors like The Travel Toilet, and the Camco will be much more comfortable and pleasant to use over extended periods of time than the Luggable Loo.
These factors make it a better option for longstanding use. If you are looking for a toilet for your RV, homestead, or boat, the Camco is definitely worth checking out.
Additionally, any owners of the Camco assert that the unit, when used correctly, doesn’t smell at all. Particularly for RV and trailer owners, escaping odors is a primary concern. Buyers said that the included sanitary packs made a huge difference in keeping waste compartment odors to a minimum.
The final pro many prospective buyers will find appealing is the relatively low price and value of the Camco 4154. This portable toilet is less expensive than other similar models, even those with lower ratings.
One important criticism among negative reviewers was the location of the water tank. For flushing purposes, the 2.5 gallon freshwater tank is located at the top of the unit. This makes the Camco a bit top-heavy when the water tank is full but the waste tank is empty.
Because of this element, it’s important that RV owners and those transporting the Camco in a vehicle may want to find some way to secure this toilet when in motion. They said it’s fairly top-heavy, and prone to tipping (which can obviously get quite disgusting). You’ll probably want to secure it for travel with a bungee cord or other straps.
Additionally, there were a significant number of people who pointed out that the pull-out lever tab has a tendency to get stuck over time. Many owners came up with creative solutions to this problem—one reviewer suggested olive oil, while another used vaseline to grease the lever.They said that really any lubricant, even something like WD40 made a big difference.
Finally, the seat of the Camco is 13 inches wide, which may be a little too small for consistent comfort for certain campers.
If you’re looking for a longer-term solution to plumbing issues, the Camco is our recommendation for you. A few minor design flaws don’t undercut the largely positive opinion most users have towards this portable toilet.
The best camping toilet for you should be based on your needs and those of anyone you’re camping or traveling with. Those looking for a short-term, inexpensive solution that won’t set them back a significant amount of money should consider Reliance’s Luggable Loo.
Adventurers who are looking for a comfortable camping toilet that’s as sturdy as it is portable, and will last for many camping trips to come, should check out The Travel Toilet.
Finally, for RV, cabin, boat, and other vehicle owners who are looking for a reusable, comfortable and consistent toilet that feels like home, the Camco 4154 is a great option.
Interested in portable, self-contained toilets that allow you to dispose of your waste in a more hygienic and environmentally friendly manner? Check out our article on The Best Composting Toilets or visit http://homeworthylist.com/ for more reviews!